Diabetes and Nerve Damage

 In Diabetes

Diabetes and Nerve Damage

Diabetes can cause a wide variety of health problems and one of the most common is nerve damage due to elevated blood glucose. Neuropathy makes a patient more susceptible to illnesses or infections and over time nerve damage can result in difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat and even impaired mental function.

Nerve damage, or neuropathy, can begin as numbness or the familiar “pins and needles” sensation, but can eventually lead to pain, loss of limb function, difficulty walking and a greater risk of injuries from falls.

Experts agree that the best way for diabetics to prevent nerve damage is through regular blood glucose monitoring and frequent check-ups with the doctor. There are a variety of medications available to treat the symptoms of neuropathy. If you are a diabetic and have tingling, numbness, or pain in your hands or feet, talk to your doctor about your choices.

Diabetic neuropathy can occur in different areas of the body. The most common is peripheral neuropathy – tingling, numbness or pain in the hands or feet. Some diabetics suffer from autonomic neuropathy which can cause problems with the digestive or urinary tract.

Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy

The symptoms of neuropathy vary from patient to patient. They might be severe, moderate, or mild and they may come on suddenly if a specific nerve is damaged. Diabetics should speak with their doctor if they experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Numbness or tingling in the feet or legs
  • Pain or burning in the legs, hands, arms, or feet
  • Loss of feeling in extremities
  • Severe pain on one side of the body, buttocks, or hips
  • Dizziness or trouble concentrating
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sweating profusely
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